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Alumina Price Rises Again
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Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, China's largest maker of aluminum and alumina, raised its alumina spot price by 8.3 percent to 3,900 yuan per ton, it said on its website.


Analysts said that the price jump of the raw material, which is used for making aluminum and abrasives, would have limited impact on the market.


The price increase is the second in less than two months, after it last increased the alumina spot price by 50 percent to 3,600 yuan a ton.


Last year the company's output of alumina increased 59 percent compared to 2003, while finished aluminum grew 208 percent over the same period.


Last year Aluminum Corp of China, Chalco's parent, posted a net profit of 22.5 billion yuan.


Production of alumina accounted for about 60 percent of its profit, said Lu Youqing, vice-president of the company.


He said the company would increase its alumina production by opening new manufacturing facilities.


In 2006 it began construction of two alumina plants in Chongqing Municipality and Zunyi, in Southwest China's Guizhou Province.


Many local companies began producing alumina in 2006, causing a sharp drop in price. As a result, Lu said Chalco had made an effort to reduce costs in the alumina production process.


The company has beefed up its overseas acquisitions and merged with aluminum makers at home in the hope of boosting production, especially of aluminum, to help mitigate the impact of lower prices.


Chalco shares were up 0.64 percent at HK$7.82 on the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.


The Hong Kong and New York-listed company is to issue yuan-denominated shares in early April.


(China Daily March 22, 2007)


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